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An Update on Human Elephant Conflict in Aceh, Indonesia


Renaldi Safriansyah Said Fauzan Baabud

This study was undertaken with financial support from Janine Grant Consulting (JGC). The data and analyses provided in this report do not necessarily reflect the view of the JGC. Responsibility for any possible errors remains with the authors.

Human-elephant conflicts are on the rise in Aceh, with the districts of Aceh Timur and Pidie being the most conflict-prone areas. Conflict events vary in form and severity, from crop-raiding to injury or death of people and elephants.

The root cause of HEC is the drastic depletion of elephant habitat due to forest conversion, degradation, fragmentation, and agricultural area-elephant habitat interference. Much of Aceh’s terrestrial biodiversity is concentrated within the lowland rainforest, while lowland forests are increasingly threatened by forest conversion, increasing contact between humans and elephants as many forest areas that are vital for elephants’ habitat in Aceh have been cleared for human use - often for crop cultivation such as palm oil and rubber.

Crop raiding and threats to humans by wild elephants are the most significant sources of conflict throughout Aceh, the two types of conflict accounting for 75% of all forms of HEC, with HEC also resulting in a negative impact on revenue crops and people’s livelihood. To conserve elephant habitats, much more attention is needed to mitigate HEC.

This report highlights aspects of HEC in Aceh including typology and root causes, and also provides practical recommendations on infrastructure and economic development that are elephant friendly. These are realistic solutions that can be adopted by the government to reduce HEC in the long term.

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